by Will Overton
We’re not even into May yet and yet last night we had the debuts of the two biggest prospects in baseball on the same night. It was a fun night for fantasy owners to watch everything unfold. Here is the breakdown of the two big debuts and lots of stuff you should know:
- Bryce Harper – OF, Washington Nationals: What a game between the Nationals and Dodgers last night. Matt Kemp may have stolen the show in the end, but the big storyline going in was Bryce Harper making his major league debut. The 19 year old showed himself well going 1 – 3 in the game and knocking in one run with a sacrifice fly. At just 19 it’s hard to know exactly what Harper can/will do, but the potential alone makes him someone to add in all leagues, not just deep leagues and not just keeper leagues. The rookie will slowly start to work his way up the batting order from the seventh spot where he was last night if he can prove he’s ready. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.
- Mike Trout – OF, Los Angeles Angels: The Angels decided it was time to move on cutting Bobby Abreu and calling up Mike Trout who was hitting .403 at triple-A. Trout didn’t make his career debut like Harper, but he made his season debut yesterday and was plugged right into the leadoff spot. He struggled going 0 – 4 and striking out once, but he’ll keep getting chances. He probably won’t play every day though with Peter Bourjos, Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo sharing time. Trout’s upside makes him an interesting play in all formats, but temper expectations, it’s a big jump to the major leagues and there is no guarantee Trout is ready for it.
- Anibal Sanchez – SP, Miami Marlins: Last season Anibal Sanchez announced his presence to the fantasy baseball world with a surprising 200 K season. This season he is looking to make a case as a locked in number two guy for fantasy owners. In four starts this season Sanchez has allowed just two runs in each game and no more than six hits. Sanchez did walk four yesterday, but that can be forgiven since he struck out 14 along the way. Sanchez now has 33 K’s in 26.1 innings. Wins seem to be hard to come by for him despite the strong performances, but that’s about the only negative there is right now.
- Anthony Bass – SP, San Diego Padres: He took the loss thanks to a lack of run support, but Anthony Bass pitched one heck of a game yesterday shutting down the Giants for eight innings. Bass allowed two runs on six hits and struck out eight. Two of the more impressive numbers of the day were that he went those eight innings in just 90 pitches and he didn’t walk a single batter. Control has been the concern with Bass after he walked five last time out, but he had everything under control yesterday. In four starts Bass has gone 23.1 innings and allowed six earned runs with 27 K’s. Bass isn’t owned in many leagues, but pitching in San Diego and having strikeout potential makes him a good pickup for at least deep leagues if not standard.
- Tigers rookie Drew Smyly has had an impressive start to the season, but yesterday was supposed to be the game that really tested him, his first trip to the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium to take on that potent offense. He ended up throwing six innings of one run ball in which he allowed only two hits, two walks and struck out seven batters. Smyly as now allowed one run or less in each of his four starts and has 22 K’s in 22 IP, this guy isn’t just a deep league pitcher, he’s the real deal.
- We have been waiting and waiting for Edwin Encarnacion to finally breakout to a level we know he’s capable of. The way in which this season has started is giving his owners hopes that this is the season. Encarnacion homered for the second time in two games and now has 6 HR’s this season to go with his 19 RBI. He’s never hit .300 so that might be a bit much to hope for, but he’s playing every day and hitting in the middle of the lineup which could deliver a 30 HR and 85 – 90 RBI season.
- There was some speculation after Jordan Walden’s last performance that he’d be pulled as the Angels closer. It turns out he was replaced and Scott Downs is the new guy. Downs got his first chance at the new job yesterday and sat the Indians down 1-2-3 in the ninth inning with one K. Downs is a must add cause he’s going to be the closer for now, but I think this is just temporary.
- Here’s one to file under most surprising stat of the season, Jason Heyward stole his eighth base of the season last night. It’s been pretty quiet, but Heyward is having a nice April with a .288 average and 12 R, 2 HR and 9 RBI. Heyward has never posed much of a speed threat, but if this keeps up Heyward’s value goes up considerably.
- Don’t look now, but Alfredo Aceves might actually be settling into the closer role a bit in Boston. Aceves turned in a 1-2-3 ninth inning getting a strikeout to record his third straight save since his implosion against the Yankees last weekend. Ac eves isn’t a good option for saves, but he’s still an option nonetheless as he seems to still be the Red Sox closer for the time being.
- The world feels so backwards, the Orioles are 13 – 8 and Chris Davis is off to a good start to the season. Davis went 3 – 4 yesterday with 2 R, 1 HR and 4 RBI. Davis is now hitting .313 and has homered in three of the last four games. I can’t fathom Davis hitting .300 much longer, but he has real power and he’s hot right now, take a shot on him and ride this, it may even be real.